When you are 22 weeks pregnant, both you and your baby are growing. For your baby, this means that he or she is starting to look like a newborn and that soon, she will be able to survive, if born already.
For you, it means a nice baby bump, but also that stretch marks may start develop.
Eat healthy to make sure you don’t gain unneccesary weight. Find information on weight gain during pregnancy week by week here.
In this article:
Your Baby’s Development
The fetal age of your baby is now 20 weeks. 22 weeks pregnant, your baby is now approximately 11 inches in length (28 cm). At almost a full pound (450 gr), your baby is looking more like a miniature newborn more each week, although the main difference is that your little one is still very skinny.
Actually, the earliest ever born baby that survived was born recently during this pregnancy week 22. The little baby was born on November 7, 2010, 11 inches long and weighing only 1 pound. The little girl is thought to be a miracle, because in general a child born before 22 full weeks of pregnancy is not able to breathe. Even during the 23rd week of pregnancy, survival rates are still in the low 20%-range, but the increase very rapidly as the weeks go by.
During this rapid weight gain, the skin is still quite wrinkled but is protected by fine hair called languo to help protect him within utero.
Inside your baby, the pancreas is developing steadily, which is essential for the production of some important hormones during their lifetime.
The liver has started producing the various enzymes that are necessary to break down bilirubin, which is the result of red blood cells breaking down inside your baby. The fetal red blood cells have a shorter life span, so there is more production of bilirubin in your baby as compared to yourself. A too slow reduction of bilirubin is what may cause newborn jaundice for some babies in about 38 weeks.
The irises of your little one’s eyes are still lacking pigment, but you are sure to see those baby blues, or greens or big browns in no time at all.
Did you know that almost all white babies are born with blue eyes. The final color will develop sometime between 9 months old and 3 years. African and Asian babies, on the other hand, are often born with brown-grey eyes, the become darker during the first year.
If you are carrying a boy, his testicles have begun to descend from the pelvis to the scrotum.
Lips, eyelids and eyebrows are more distinct at this phase of development as well.
Stretch marks may start to make an appearance now for you in a variety of places. Your belly, buttocks, thighs and even breasts can bear these common marks of rapid growth. Some women may experience only a small amount, while others will show an abundance of them in clusters. Not nice!
Some say there is nothing to do to prevent or mitigate it, others swear by creams in particular. Well, no harm in trying! Try Bella B Tummy Honey Butter for example or some similar cream.
Some women will notice changes in their hair during the latter part of pregnancy. Thicker, more lustrous hair growth can be apparent since your body is actually just doing less shedding that it did before your pregnancy. Enjoy – it won’t last (sorry)!
An increase in body hair is one thing that many women do not tend to like, but is only temporary. Sex hormones known as androgens can cause new hair to sprout in never before seen places such as your chin, upper lip, jaw and even cheeks.
You may notice that dark line forming from your belly button downward now (the linea nigra) and even have more hair growth on your belly or breasts. While some women prefer to tweeze or wax these hairs away, others just put up with them since it is only temporary and will disappear in time.
Your fingernails can also be noticeably longer due to the many hormones causing rapid growth. If you have always had soft nails, they may become harder, while the opposite can also take effect. The overall texture can also be affected temporarily.
Be sure to protect your nails when cleaning and use a hand moisturizer if you notice them becoming brittle. And put on some nail polish. You won’t have the time and energy for that in a couple of months… 😉
Week 22 Pregnancy Video
Diary of a Daughter
What’s it really like being 22 weeks pregnant…? Here’s a true diary from a 22 weeks pregnant mom (Me..!)
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I was home from work this week, sick. A stomach bug, awful actually!
But my baby didn’t seem to notice; kicked just as much as always! [/box]
Are you also 22 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below!
- See what your baby is up to in these fetal development videos
- Healthy eating during pregnancy
- How your breasts change during pregnancy and after
MayoClinic (2011), Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD (2008) The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. (2004) A Child Is Born.
Soderberg, L. (2010) Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.
Image: Image of 22 weeks belly by Graham and Sheila